Mietin muutama päivä sitten, miksi ihmeessä John Greenin nerokkaita nuortenkirjoja ei ole käännetty suomeksi – ja törmäsin lähes samantien WSOY:n ilmoitukseen Tähtiin kirjoitettu virhe -kirjan helmikuisesta julkaisusta. Bingo!
The Fault In Our Stars -romaani tarjottiin minulle luettavaksi tuoreeltaan viime vuoden alussa, ja vaikutuin siitä suunnattomasti. Greenillä on taito kirjoittaa nuortenkirjoja, joissa lukijaa ei aliarvioida. Minulla taitaa olla tapana valittaa nuortenkirjojen epäuskottavuudesta ja siitä miten niiden laadusta ei usein voi edes puhua samana päivänä ”aikuisten kirjojen” kanssa… Ja John Greenin kirjat ovat ihana poikkeus tästä kaavasta.
John Green: The Fault In Our Stars
Dutton Books 2011
16-year old Hazel Lancaster has never been anything but terminal. Augustus Waters is an unbelievably hot, one-legged teenage wonder currently in remission. Theirs is a match made in a support group for cancer kids, and from the start they know their love story will not be made of forever.
While the relationship of Hazel and Augustus develops quite quickly, it is luckily far from the insta-love so often seen in YA books, where the characters recognize their soulmates with barely a glance. John Green’s writing is more realistic and he describes beautifully the way Hazel and Augustus slowly learn to love each other and lean on each other, to give each other a forever within the numbered days. And how a forever like that, too, can be okay.
Even though the characters have been ravaged by cancer, The Fault In Or Stars is by no means a Cancer Book. Instead it’s a book about all the big questions – like leaving a mark in this world, and if those marks can ever be anything but scars. The same way Hazel and Augustus are not just Cancer Kids but teenagers, experiencing both happiness and hurt, trying to learn to live while feeling like grenades that will inevitably one day explode and hurt everyone they hold close.
Like his previous books, The Fault In Our Stars once again shows that John Green doesn’t shy away from the big existential questions. He also has a charmingly gentle yet sharp way of dealing with them, a skill that very few writers of young adult fiction have mastered.
Green is also known for his verbose protagonists that sometimes seem just a little too witty and wise for their years. Some might argue that Hazel and Augustus are hardly believable teenagers, but Green has a talent for creating characters that, with their all their feelings and their flaws, seem completely real. And that is why one doesn’t, in the end, really mind them being so unbelievably clever.
And when Hazel talks about Augustus and falling in love, the reader knows exactly what she means. “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
Because that is exactly the way you fall in love with John Green’s books.